The Bundesliga team that went deepest into the 2020/21 campaign without recording a single loss suddenly finds itself on a two-match-losing streak.
A hobbling Eintracht Frankfurt side overcame their lack of pace and direction to most unexpectedly prevail 2-1 over Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Deutsche Bank Park.
|Edmond Tapsoba.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
Adi Hütter's Adler entered their first fixture of 2021 beset by their fair share of problems. The league's slowest squad, which has not produced a goal on the break all season, somehow eked past the side known for their blistering pace on both flanks.
The match began as one might have expected. Within a few minutes, Peter Bosz's Werkself had their speedy combination game established. Young phenom Florian Wirtz put the visitors ahead in the 10th with an especially creative flick on to Nadiem Amiri just ahead of the defensive ranks. The 24-year-old German international then drew out keeper Kevin Trapp, ultimately finishing past the Frankfurt keeper with a super slick back heel.
Leverkusen maintained much of the possession thereafter, easily dictating the flow of the match. It did not prove difficult for Bosz's men to keep a deep defensive block as die Adler had no real means of unleashing lone striker André Silva. The game began to open up a bit more when defensive errors on behalf of the favored team proceeded to allow the SGE to slowly gain confidence.
Djibril Sow was able to unlock a striding Amin Younes in the 22nd. The former Nationalelf star took two touches before finishing very cooly from distance. After six long years, Younes once again tallied in the Bundesliga. With the score level, the Hessen hosts began to turn the tide in their favor.
Younes unfortunately missed a golden chance to put his side ahead in the 39th. Daichi Kamada, who appeared very tentative to shoot on several promising occasions, also wasted a few opportunities in front of goal. With most of the Leverkusen players focused on covering Filip Kostic on the left, right-wingback Erik Durm found himself in acres of space often. This particular former German international simply couldn't find the quality passes to make it count, however.
Frankfurt scored what would prove to be the game-winning-goal nine minutes after the restart. It ironically came off another one of Kamada's tentative plays. Hesistant to shoot himself, the young Japanese international attempted a hopeful cross for Silva from the right. Bayer center-back Edmond Tapsoba inadvertently turned the ball into his own net. It was horrible luck for Tapsoba, who also had Robert Lewandowski's match-winning goal deflect off him in the 1-2 loss to Bayern just before the Christmas break.
Both sides struggled to come up with ideas after the 54th-minute tally. Adi Hütter's men defended very deep to shut their opponents down, ben after Bosz brought on Lucas Alario for a two-striker-set in the 68th. To complete a miserable day, Tapsoba headed over the best chance for the equalizer in the 87th.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, SC Freiburg were easily able to extend their league-winning streak to four games with a dominant 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim. Union Berlin temporarily move into fourth place after easily dispatching SV Werder Bremen 2-0.
Two other tightly contested fixtures eventually swung the way of the favored teams in the second half. Borussia Mönchengladbach snuck past Bielefeld 1-0 on a fine Breel Embolo goal. Augsburg topped Köln by a single goal thanks to a late effort by Iago.
|19||D. Abraham (C)|
|25||E. Durm ↪86|
|15||D. Kamada ↪76|
|32||A. Younes ⚽ ↪76|
|18||A. Touré ↩86|
|24||D. da Costa|
|27||A. Barkok ↩76|
|28||D. Kohr ↩76|
|12||E. Tapsoba ⚽|
|23||M. Weiser ↪68|
|27||F. Wirtz ↪68|
|15||J. Baumgartlinger (C)|
|11||N. Amiri ⚽|
|19||M. Diaby ↪68|
|13||L. Alario ↩68|
|38||K. Bellarabi ↩68|
|10||K. Demirbay ↩68|